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Daily Reading: 24th January 2015

John 11.38-40

38 Then again Jesus being deeply moved within Himself, came to the tomb, which was a cave, and a stone was laying on it.

39 Jesus said: “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the one who had died, said to Him: “Lord, he will stink for he has already been dead for four days.”

40 Jesus said to her: “Did I not tell you that if you should believe you will see the glory of God?”

We are all affected by emotions, some more so than others. When we are children we tend to display our emotions quite freely. As we grow older we tend to learn to control our emotions, only occasionally letting them be seen by others.

In the gospels we get occasional glimpses of the emotions of Jesus, and this is such an occasion. We read that Jesus was deeply moved within Himself.

The Greek word for deeply moved usually refers to a stern warning, or an angry response. Jesus used this word after He had healed a leper. He used it as a stern  warning that he must not tell anyone else – Mark 1.43-44: [43] And He sent him away sternly warning him [44] and He says to him: pay attention that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer that which Moses commended concerning the cleansing, for a testimony for them.

There is a difference of opinion as to the meaning of the word used in verse 38. The word used actually means to snort like a horse, and is generally used to express indignation, displeasure, or righteous anger.

Therefore, many believe that Jesus was showing His displeasure at the hypocrisy of the Jews, the ‘official’ mourners who had no real feelings of grief or compassion for Mary and Martha.

There was a similar occasion when Jesus raised from the dead the daughter of Jairus. Before He did this Jesus put out of the house all the wailing mourners, because they laughed at Jesus when He said that the child was not dead but asleep. His emotion was similar to how John describes His emotion at the tomb of Lazarus.

It is also suggested that Jesus was deeply moved (to anger) because of death that is the result of sin. Sin is the great enemy of mankind, and Jesus came to deliver us from the wages of sin – death, and to give us life.

The emotion of Jesus could also be His showing His compassion and sympathy for Mary and Martha.

The truth is we do not know, although the context would suggest His righteous anger of those in verse 37 who were questioning why Jesus had not done more to keep Lazarus from dying.

Our emotional responses must always be under the control of the Holy Spirit, so that in them we bring honour and glory to Jesus.

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